When in Rome, do as the Romans do

Diana Tymchuk, 16 years old, Italy

My name is Diana. My family moved to Italy in late August 2014 because of the war and the economic crisis in Ukraine. My father used to work as a school headmaster and was a member of a district council. My mother worked at Labour and Social Services Offi ce. My parents said that they could no longer bear scanty wages, which sometimes wasn’t enough to pay utility bills and buy food. We decided to change our lives and moved to my grandmother who worked in Italy. Now, we live in Venice. At fi rst, it was diffi cult – foreign language, unknown traditions, no friends. Later, I got accustomed and learned to speak Italian. I made friends with some of my classmates and could tell them something about Ukraine. They were fascinat- ed by my stories and photos. Moreover, prior to my stories they all used to think that Ukraine was a part of Russia, and there was no difference between the two.

I love beautiful sunny Italy and its cui- sine. It is warm here – my brother and I no longer get sick. Our family actively participates in the social life of Ukrainian community in Venice. My father is a principal of a local Ukrainian school. Every Sunday, we go to our Ukrainian Church.

Although our life has become much better, we still hope that the Ukrainian government will do everything for Ukrainians to be able to live a decent life at home, so that millions of labour migrants, just like us, could return back to their homeland.

I drew this painting to show that my family is happy, and that our wonderful fl ag is here with us in Italy.

Project categories: My flag goes where I go

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